I have worked hard all my life. I am a military retiree. I worked for a government contractor. I worked for a test publisher. I taught in the classroom and also worked at several other jobs. I put in many extra unpaid hours throughout my working life. I served as a foreign missionary for six years and have continued to serve domestically since my return. Now that I have made it to the age of 63, surely I deserve to relax, kick back, and enjoy life in a land of liberty and happiness. I DESERVE IT!

What? Wait….

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -Romans 3:23 (ESV)

“For the wages of sin is death.” – Romans 6:23a (ESV)

Uhh…OK. I am wrong. I do not deserve “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I deserve death. I have earned death.

But look!

“…the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23b (ESV)

I deserve death, but God gives me eternal life through Jesus.

Happiness? The momentary happiness of this world can never outweigh the deep, satisfying, never-ending joy I have in Jesus.

Liberty? I am grateful that I am allowed to move around this country freely, say what I believe, and worship the way I desire, but the freedom from condemnation that I have in Jesus outweighs all the “liberty” this world can offer.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” -Romans 8:1 (ESV)

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13 (ESV)

Everything I have had, now have, and will have in this life is due to the grace of God working in the world. Do I deserve the benefits of that grace? Absolutely not! I enjoy the benefits I have as a citizen of the United States, as a military retiree, and as a senior citizen, but I know what I truly deserve–and I am overwhelmed by God’s mercy.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” -Romans 12:1 (ESV)

In this knowledge, from this perspective, I pray once again:

God, please take away my desires and give me Yours. I know where that request has gotten me in the past, and I know that Your plan for my life is far better than mine. So, please, Lord, take my life and use me however and wherever You choose. Amen.


Star Ferdinand

Serving in the USA

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